Users have unleashed a flurry of criticism at Microsoft for turning Windows 10 into an "all-seeing eye" that studies user behavior right down to what he says while working at the computer.
Flurry of Criticism
Microsoft has faced massive criticism of Windows 10 users for violating their privacy while using the new operating system. Hundreds of complaints about this have been posted on Hacker News and Reddit.
A conversation on the issue on Hacker News received 520 comments in less than a day, and on Reddit, 685 comments during the same period.
Users did not like that Windows collects various types of data, including location, names of open programs, data from emails and text messages, contact data, and how often they interact with these contracts on a Windows 10 device, sending this and other data to Microsoft servers. ... Some of the complaints also concern the fact that Windows shares passwords for Wi-Fi networks with other users.
Many complaints relate to the new contextual, personalized advertising engine built into Windows 10. After the system is installed, Microsoft assigns a unique identification number to the user for displaying ads, which is associated with the email address specified in the Microsoft account. This address, in turn, links with other products of the company, including office applications and instant messengers, as well as cloud storage.
Using this information, Microsoft is able to show the user personalized ads while surfing the web and using applications. One such application is the Solitaire card game. Upon launch, the user sees an ad that he cannot skip until he pays for a monthly or annual subscription.
Hacker News author ewzimm says Windows 10 has changed a lot from its predecessors. “It's now a personalized cloud-based operating system, ” he says. The user points out that it is one thing when it is necessary to clear the history in the web browser before handing over the laptop to another user, and another thing when the entire operating system learns the user's habits.
ewzimm continues that he considers it wrong to control the user if he just needs to do a little work on the computer. At the same time, Windows guest accounts contain a lot of restrictions that make using a PC less efficient.
Lack of transparent policy
Human rights activists drew attention to the lack of a transparent policy regarding the collection of user data in the 45-page license agreement for Windows 10. “Microsoft just gave itself very broad rights in this regard - to collect information about everything that you do, what you type and say - in order to sell more relevant advertising or sell the collected data to third parties, ”summarized the experts of the non-profit association“ European Digital Rights ”.
There are many comments on Reddit dedicated to disabling Windows tracking functionality. In particular, the authors recommend not using the quick setup option when you first start Windows 10 and strongly recommend choosing a local account type to work with the OS.
They also suggest turning off Cortana, one of the top innovations in Windows 10 that lets you control your computer and search using your voice. Cortana is one of the functions for which the user's personal data is sent to Microsoft's servers.
In addition, the authors recommend disabling all options in the security settings and minimizing the use of standard Microsoft applications - replace Microsoft Edge with Firefox, Chromium or any variant of either of these two projects; Windows Media Player is on VLC or MPC-HC, and the built-in image viewer is on IrfanView or ImageGlass.